Workshop 17: Dealing with Data: Designing Computational Approaches to Rhetorical Inquiry
Amanda Licastro and Daniel Faltesek
Do you have an overwhelming data set begging to be mined? In the field of Composition, scholars have adopted corpus-based computational analysis to investigate the rhetoric of job postings (Lauer), professional journals (Mueller; Almjeld et al), dissertation records (Miller; Gatta), and student writing (Aull; Licastro). Across the field of Rhetoric, researchers have applied similar methods to study social media (Liu et. al.), political discourse (Kearney; Faltesek), and public communication (McLean). This workshop is intended to give practitioners the language and tools needed to conduct large-scale text analysis and visualization within a variety of contexts including writing studies and public address.
In this hands-on workshop we will explore the methodological potential for mapping computational tools onto existing debates in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism and how these new theoretical approaches can be put into scholarly conversation. We will accomplish this with a combination of readings, code snippets, datasets, and other materials to drive the process forward. We will provide data for our work together, no prior dataset is required.
Experience with coding is not required for this workshop. We will be working with a number of software packages that have been very successfully taught to audiences with many skill levels, particularly Gephi and R. A reading list of recent material will also be provided and discussed. The conversations and techniques in this workshop will interest Rhetoricians of all technical skill levels.